Unlike a group review, in a “Dual Review” two writers (in this case Adam and Jordan) will take a look at the issue and give a numeric score for the issue. They’ll be continuing they’re coverage of “All Out War” from Skybound and Image Comics and if you like this, then check out the rest of their reviews following the series. Adam:
Am I the only one who thought it was hilarious that Heath is featured on this cover standing up? Anyway, this issue was great and definitely one of my favorite of this story arc so far. I think it’s interesting just how terrified the Saviors are of Negan-they all fear him so much they forget how much they want him dead. I’m sure there will be some people who don’t agree with Dwight in wanting to kill him, but one of the other guards over Eugene overhears Dwight talking about taking Negan out and agrees with him. I think Eugene made an interesting point that maybe Dwight is just waiting for one side to win and stick with them. I’m still not 100% sure about Dwight, but at this point it does seem he’s on Rick and crew’s side. There’s a lot going on this issue with different characters, but the interaction that stood out most to me was the talk between Olivia and Rosita. Rosita doesn’t want to be bothered and she plays it off as if she’s just worried about everyone, but maybe there’s something between her and Eugene we don’t necessarily know about yet.
Later in the issue, Negan comes up with a tactic that has the potential to revolutionize warfare in the apocalypse. He gets Lucille all drenched in zombie mouth innards and claims that now all he has to do is give anyone a little kiss from Lucille and the rest is history. It should be interesting to see how it plays out if Negan gets to utilize his trusty bat from hell. All three groups have a chance to rendezvous towards the end, but are they as prepared as Negan and the Saviors? This issue ends on one nasty cliffhanger, and really makes me realize why people read these in trades rather than issue by issue.
Drama abounds and pieces begin to move into place in this, the latest installment of Robert Kirkman`s The Walking Dead which begins the start of the final third of the “All Out War” event, promising to see sparks fly in the damn near future.
Lots of cogs are in motion this issue as: Inside Negan’s camp we see a battered and beaten Eugene exercising his balls of steel as he faces down big N’s Jonah-Hex-faced compatriot. It turns out all the growling and carrying on is unnecessary because, thankfully quite a few people agree that Negan is pretty much a major asshole. Including two-face and his nerdy buddy, they tell Eugene to play it cool and talk plans to give the sick bastard a taste of his own medicine; this is an interesting development, Will Negan finally pay for his cruel ways with a coup? Could the tyrant’s final downfall be his blatant neglect of even his own men? It seems likely and if the end of this issue is any indicator, Rick is going to need all the help his skinny ass can get if he wants a chance at taking on Negan and his totally unethical slew of zombie-gunk infected arms.
Back at Hilltop the group is trying to piece itself together still after the vicious grenade attack a few days prior. In the wake of this we get a few great dramatic moments and insights, as the attack has many residents of the community stripped down and vulnerable. A talk between Brianna and Maggie cements her as a fledgling (if a bit reluctant) new leader. Rick and Andrea get cutesy in the sniper tower and a standout section where a remorseful King Ezekiel confesses his fear and doubt to a sleeping Michonne and promises to be a better man, “…tomorrow …when you’re awake.” The King has really shown man-chops as of late and embodied a man who remains strong and fearless and humble even in the face of great loss, for those reasons he’s becoming a favorite of mine as of late. Plus, dreds are awesome.
Another standout moment occurs when Rick takes a second out of his hectic schedule to bring lunch to a man doing blacksmithing for the group. Gestures like this are great to see and really reaffirm why Rick truly is the man for the job.
Tension is picking up, and with Negan poised to deliver a preemptive strike on Hilltop, using chemical warfare and breaking all the rules of combat (the dick) I’m curious to see how Rick and the rest of the group handle this thing, one thing’s for sure, Mr. Kirkman won’t rest until every one of his characters knows hell like the back of their hand.
This issue runs a little dry on action but what it lacks there it makes up for in essential, well-done TWD dialogue and slick character interactions. Top that with the pending tension of battle and you have a damn solid issue.
Score: Adam – 5/5, Jordan – 4/5
Writer: Robert Kirkman Artist: Charlie Adlard Publisher: Image/Skybound Entertainment Price: $2.99 Release Date: 2/26/14